All-Star Lineup to Kick Off 50-City Newport Jazz Festival« 50th Anniversary Tour

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New York - Some of the most distinguished names in jazz will embark on a 50-city U.S. tour starting a yearlong celebration of the Golden Anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival, which is considered by many to be one of the most important events in jazz history. George Wein, CEO of Festival Productions, Inc., announced today that the Newport Jazz Festival« 50th Anniversary Tour will be kicking off on January 17th and running through March 27th with performances taking place in performing arts centers and college campuses across the country.

The Newport Jazz Festival« 50th Anniversary Tour will be presented in two parts, the Northeast/Midwest and West Coast/Southwest, with a different line-up of renowned artists performing in each. The first leg will feature legendary saxophonist James Moody, virtuosic instrumentalist Cedar Walton on piano, veteran trumpet master Randy Brecker, universally praised saxophone aficionado James Carter, guitar virtuoso Howard Alden, one of the most widely recorded bassists of his generation, Peter Washington and “Rhythm Is My Business" drummer Lewis Nash.

The second half of this tour will feature award-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard, masterful tenor saxophonist Lew Tabackin, world-renowned clarinetist Ken Peplowski, scat/blues and jazz vocalist Lea DeLaria, and versatile young drummer Karriem Riggins, performing along with Walton, Alden, and Washington.

To celebrate this august anniversary a limited edition CD comprised of highlights from the festival's early years will be available exclusively for purchase on the tour. Newport at 50: Happy Birthday, Baby! features live recordings from jazz greats such as the Louis Armstrong All-Stars with Jack Teagarden & Bobby Hackett performing “Rocking Chair" recorded in 1958, The Thelonious Monk Quartet performing “Epistrophy" recorded in 1963 and Mahalia Jackson with Duke Ellington & His Orchestra performing “Come Sunday" recorded in 1958. The players in these legendary ensembles reads like a veritable “Who's Who in Jazz" including Lester Young, Paul Desmond, Buddy Tate, Buck Clayton, Pee Wee Russell and Peanuts Hucko to name just a few.

Other highlights from this one-of-a-kind compilation include electrifying performances by Jimmy Rushing with Benny Goodman & His Orchestra, the Dave Brubeck Quartet and Rex Stewart and The Ellington Alumni All-Stars.

Universally recognized as the “Grandfather" of all jazz festivals for being the first ever all-jazz festival presented, legendary impresario George Wein has been bringing jazz lovers and renowned jazz figures together since 1954. The Newport Jazz Festival« 50th Anniversary Tour is just one of many festivities marking the event that brought this uniquely American musical form to millions of people, and forever changed the cultural landscape of this country.

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